Dwelling on the 25th floor of The Okura Prestige Bangkok, one Michelin-starred Elements, Inspired by Ciel Bleu recently launched its Autumn menu, Autumn Gastronomic Journey, to tantalise gourmands' taste buds and highlight the finest seasonal produce.
Chef de Cuisine, Gerard Villaret Horcajo, is spearhead of this French-Japanese fine dining restaurant and the creator of this menu. He combines Japanese tastes and French techniques with expertise. Despite the season, the chef designed the menu to evoke the essence of Summer, adding ingredients that add brightness and freshness.
Chomp visited the esteemed French-Japanese fine dining restaurant to taste its Mizu nine-course menu with kombucha pairing.
After settling at the table, diners receive a welcome sake. The selected sake Chomp received was Yuki No Bosha, a floral-noted Junmai Jinjo with dry and clean mouthfeels. If a staff serve you this sake, we recommend not to savour it all at once but rather save it for later. You will thank us.
During the welcome drink service, the staff offers a variety of three types of bread to choose from: Charcoal Pang (Japanese charcoal dinner roll), cube croissant, and mini-baguette. Along with the bread, a two-toned butter bar was provided, which included regular butter on one side and umami smoked miso and nori butter on the other, allowing the guests to complement their chosen bread with a flavourful spread.
As a precursor to the meal, the Amuse Bouche serves as a sneak peek of what the chef has in store for the guests. This delightful dish consists of four bite-sized pieces of Nigiri Meringue topped with Hamaji and sprinkled with Furikake, Cocao Choux, Chicken Skin topped with Yukke, and Foie Gras Terrine. It's better to eat them in order.
At Element, Inspired by Ciel Bleu is one of a few fine dining restaurants that pair its food with kombuchas. Its staff team is responsible for making the kombuchas.
Once the Amuse Bouche is finished, a member of the staff approaches the table with a glass of kombucha. The first kombucha served is the Chamomile Honey Yuzu, which is perfectly paired with the first and second courses. This blend of kombucha is made by fermenting chamomile tea with honey and yuzu for a period of two weeks.
The first course is Dry Aged Madia & Bluefin Tuna. The dish includes mirugai or geoduck, preserved tomato and sesame leaf tempura. The dish is sweet and umami. The textures of each seafood and the crunchy sesame leaf tempura give the mouth a sensation. Sip the kombucha to enhance the experience and clean your palate to prepare you for the next course.
The following course is Hokkaido Hotate. The hotate or scallop topped with a generous amount of Oscietra caviar is served with house-made chicken essence and herb oil. The hotate is sweet in contrast with the salty caviar. The chicken essence goes with the caviar, while herb oil adds herbaceous notes to this course. This course is a perfect match with the kombucha.
The next kombucha is Sweet Kabocha, which is Japanese pumpkin kombucha with a green tea base. To balance the taste, the team adds pineapple juice and galangal. This pairs with the third and fourth courses.
Smoked Eel is the meal's third course. The eel is served with kureson or Japanese watercress sauce and garnished with Baeri caviar. The eel is treated exceptionally well, resulting in meat free of any muddy odour. The eel meat is firm and sweet. The watercress sauce is bright and creamy. The Baeri caviar adds the hazelnut characteristic to the dish, making it even more delectable. The dish goes quite nicely with the kombucha. Remember that Chomp recommended saving the Yuki no Bocha for later? Well, this sake is a divine pair with the Smoked Eel.
The following course, North Sea Langoustine, has a magical presentation. The fresh langoustine is presented at the table. The staff pours 60°C life salt to par-cook the crustacean, then puts it back in the kitchen to finish.
The finished dish reemerges at the table with thinly sliced Hakurei turnip, lardo di Colonnata and bouillabaisse. The sweet Hakurei turnip and lardo di Colonnata go incredibly well with the langoustine. The bouillabaisse adds the umami taste to the dish. Additionally, the aromatics in the bouillabaisse harmonise with the galangal note in the kombucha.
After the fourth course, the waiter serves a glass of Fall in Love kombucha, which is made from green tea and jujube. This kombucha is paired with Kinki, a Japanese red rockfish that has been deep-fried and grilled on binchotan charcoal with its scales left intact. The dish is served with boiled and pickled carrots of different colours, vadouvan sauce, and buckwheat savarin topped with potato salad and ikura. The fish has the perfect amount of firmness and fattiness, and its taste is complemented by the richness of the vadouvan sauce and the sweetness of the carrots. The savarin is soft and tastes great on its own and also pairs well with the other elements of the course.
Moving on to the next course, which is paired with black tea-based Peachy Kiwi kombucha. This course is French Ceps made of French ceps, sunchoke crisps, cured egg yolk and black truffle Mimolette cheese béchamel. The fruity notes of the Mimolette synchronise with the kombucha. These characteristics also add brightness to the umami dish.
For the main course, guests have the option to choose between two dishes - Canard en Croute de Sel on the Bone or Kagoshima Wagyu A5 Striploin. The Canard dish is served with green tea-based Carrot Juniper Beery Kombucha, while a black tea-based Rosemary Beetroot Kombucha accompanies the Kagoshima Wagyu dish.
For the canard dish, a Barbary duck from a local producer is covered with a thick salt crust before baking. This preparation helps season the duck and keeps the skin dry while the meat remains juicy. The duck is served with kumquat calisson and tiny rubber duck-shaped foie gras. Spread the foie gras on the duck and calisson, then combine every element in one bite to experience the explosion of flavours and textures.
For the wagyu dish, the meat is grilled to your liking and served with pickled radish, umeboshi plum and potato gratin. The radish and umeboshi add sharp, salty and sourness to the fatty, juicy meat, while the potato gratin gives a sweet, buttery taste to the dish.
After finishing the main course, guests have two dessert options - Kabocha Cheesecake or Binchotan. The cheesecake is made from Japanese pumpkin or Kabocha and served with hazelnut praline and yuzu sorbet. The Binchotan is a Japanese charcoal-formed dessert made from caramelised white chocolate, citrus and Japanese whisky.
Chef Gerard Villaret Horcajo, a Spanish chef, has mastered the art of combining Japanese flavours with French culinary techniques. Having previously worked at the two-MICHELIN-starred restaurant in Hotel Okura Amsterdam before relocating to Bangkok, his expertise is clearly reflected in his dishes. He has successfully executed the true essence of Japanese cuisine, creating a delectable range of dishes that showcase his skills and passion for cooking.
Element, Inspired by Ciel Bleu
Hours: Wed-Sun, 18:00 – 22:30 hours
Reserve: +662 687 9000
Location: The Okura Prestige Bangkok, 57 Park Venture Ecoplex, Wireless Rd. Bangkok, Thailand 10330